Los Angeles police form a line to keep a crowd from entering a building on April 30, 1992. Twenty years after the L.A. riots, most civil rights and community groups give the LAPD high marks for progress.
Credit Jonathan Nourok / AFP/Getty Images
LAPD Chief Daryl Gates (right) and Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley respond to the rioting that began on April 30, 1992, after four police officers were acquitted in the beating of Rodney King.
Credit Nick Ut / AP
Former LAPD Chief William Bratton is credited with setting the first substantive department reforms in motion during his seven-year tenure.
It's been 20 years since Los Angeles erupted in riots following the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King. There have been many changes in the city since those days of fire, looting and public discord, but perhaps the biggest changes can be seen in L.A.'s police department.
On a drive around the heart of South Central L.A., there are still plenty of weed-filled lots where businesses that burned down in the riots used to stand. There's also still a lot of crime.
Newt Gingrich has experienced a long slide since March 6, when he won Georgia's Republican primary. It was his second and final victory of the campaign season, but Gingrich fought to stay in the race through a Southern strategy that never caught on.
On Wednesday, a source close to the Gingrich campaign told NPR that he would officially suspend his campaign next week, and was likely to formally endorse Mitt Romney.
Members of the Syrian opposition walk with a U.N. observer during a visit by monitors to the restive city of Homs, Syria, on April 21. Opposition activists say observers appear to help bring calm if they stay in an area. Two monitors have been deployed in Homs for the past several days.
Credit SANA via AP
A U.N. observer (left) speaks with Syrian citizens during their visit to the pro-Syrian regime neighborhoods, in Homs province, central Syria, on April 23.
Syrians walk in an alley damaged by Syrian army shelling in the Bab Sbaa neighborhood in Homs province, central Syria, on April 21.
The U.N.-brokered cease-fire in Syria keeps unraveling. Syrian government troops were supposed to pull their tanks and soldiers out of cities and towns, while rebels were supposed to lay down their arms.
Yet hundreds of people have died in recent days, according to activists. And in some areas, visits by U.N. observers have been followed by intense violence.
Hikers arrive at the post office in Caratunk, Maine, in 2011. Some of the rural post offices the U.S. Postal Service may close are relied on by Appalachian Trail hikers for supply drops on their trip from Georgia to Maine.
The U.S. Postal Service is so much a part of this country, it's in the Constitution. And yet with so much written communication now delivered via email, text messages and the Internet, the Postal Service is steadily losing business and operating in the red.
Most people wouldn't think of Washington, D.C., as one of R&B's great cities. Despite the fact that soul music greats Marvin Gaye and Roberta Flack grew up in D.C. neighborhoods, the city never had the equivalent of Detroit's Berry Gordy and Motown, or Memphis' Willie Mitchell and Hi Records. But in the early 1970s, D.C. did have producer Robert Williams and his Red, Black and Green Productions. A new compilation album called Eccentric Soul: A Red Black Green Production revisits Williams' influence on the sound of R&B in D.C.
Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 10:10 am
Allegations that Wal-Mart officials in Mexico paid local authorities to speed up permits to build new stores could result in a trial and a huge financial penalty under a U.S. anti-corruption law. But legal experts who spoke to NPR have their doubts it will ever come to that.
Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 4:42 pm
Making a living practicing medicine is more complicated and frustrating than ever. But it still pays. And pretty well.
A survey of more than 24,000 doctors conducted online for Medscape, a doctor-oriented information service of WebMD, finds that their average annual pay ranges from $156,000 for pediatricians, the lowest-paid specialty, to $315,000 for the top earners.
Members of a civil war amputee soccer team practice on a beach in Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital, in April 2006. Rebel groups, allegedly aided by former Liberian President Charles Taylor during Sierra Leone's brutal 1991-2002 civil war, were known for their gruesome practice of hacking off limbs.
Credit Ben Curtis / AP
Liberian President Charles Taylor, shown here in the capital Monrovia in 2003, is charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity — including murder, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers — in neighboring Sierra Leone. A verdict is expected Thursday.
A court in the Netherlands is set to deliver a verdict Thursday in a case involving a former head of state charged with international war crimes.
Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia, is on trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, Netherlands. He is charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity — including murder, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers — in neighboring Sierra Leone.
Tens of thousands died during Sierra Leone's vicious civil war, one that was infamous for the brutal hacking off of limbs.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed is ready to implement "balance sheet actions if necessary."
That means if the Federal Open Market Committee feels that the economic recovery is in danger, it is ready to implement a third round of quantitative easing, or bond purchases intended to bring down long-term interest rates and spur borrowing and spending.
"If appropriate... we remain entirely prepared to take additional action," the chairman said. "We will not hesitate to use them."
As I write this, it's about 1 a.m. in Nepal and, according to National Geographic magazine's iPad app, a group of climbers is camped on the side of Mount Everest, possibly sleeping (though we can't be totally sure), at nearly 21,000 feet. They expect to make a final summit push in early May.
After years of cuts to public school budgets across the country, many districts are relying on parents to pay for classroom supplies, extracurricular activities and even teacher salaries. But some worry that uneven distribution of funds will widen disparities between schools and between districts.
Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:17 pm
At airports, train stations and other public places across the nation, the Department of Homeland Security's "See Something, Say Something" campaign has encouraged people to report suspicious activity in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks. But a recent government survey found citizens are not jumping in to report others.
Anders Breivik testified that he was sane during his shooting and bombing spree, but argues that he did not commit a crime. He hoped they would force Norway to change its policy on immigration. Peter Talos, a reporter for the Norwegian News Agency, talks about what this case has meant for Norway.
Mitt Romney swept all five primaries on Tuesday, solidifying his hold on the GOP presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich made a last stand in Delaware, but came up short and aides to the former House speaker say he plans to suspend his campaign soon and will likely endorse Romney.
SB 1070, the Arizona immigration law that requires local police to question and detain people suspected of being in the country illegally, has served as a model for similar legislation. Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune Supreme Court correspondent David Savage listened in on the arguments.